On October 26, 2020, the City Bar Justice Center commemorated the tremendous response of ten volunteer attorneys who rose to meet the challenges of 2020, awarding each of them with a 2020 Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award. Our honorees demonstrated an unwavering commitment to supporting disadvantaged New Yorkers, particularly in times of crisis. Congratulations!

Planning and Estates Law Project: Tracy McLaughlin, Associate at Schiff Hardin LLP

The Planning and Estates Law Project (PELP) provides legal advice and assistance to low-income New Yorkers with matters pertaining to end-of-life planning, wills and estates.

When the pandemic swept through New York City, PELP moved quickly to expand services and launched an initiative providing free life planning document preparation for frontline healthcare workers, including wills, power of attorney forms, health care proxies and stand-by guardianship designations. PELP’s goal was to provide some peace of mind to our overburdened healthcare workers. If they could plan for their families, that would be one less matter they would need to stress about during the pandemic.

Tracy McLaughlin, an associate at Schiff Hardin LLP, responded quickly to our request for help and immediately jumped into action, contacting client healthcare workers to consult on their needs. Ms. McLaughlin conscientiously worked around their busy schedules during the peak of the pandemic in New York City to draft and finalize documents crucial to the clients’ and their families’ security. In fact, Ms. McLaughlin assisted spouses and live-in parents of healthcare workers with their own life planning documents. Finally, Tracy remotely executed documents for those she helped – not an easy task to accomplish under the conditions at hand.

Ms. McLaughlin worked on multiple client matters in just the first few months of the initiative. We salute and congratulate her for receiving a 2020 Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award!